Heat and Flag Conditions

Introduction

The goal of the thermal stress management program is to prevent heat-related injuries through education and monitoring. Monitoring is conducted May through October when temperatures are expected to reach 85 degrees Fahrenheit as a daily high and during readiness exercises. The Wet Bulb Globe Temperature (WBGT) measurements take into account air temperature, mean radiant temperature, air speed, and absolute humidity. Flag conditions listed in Table 1 change based on the WBGT measurements reported by the Bioenvironmental Engineering Flight.

What does a flag condition change mean?

Flag condition changes are recommendations, not directives or requirements, for commanders to observe work/rest cycles and to enhance awareness of heat conditions and monitoring for signs of heat illness. Flag conditions are intended for use by 39th Air Base Wing, tenant units, local and U.S. civilian employees, and U.S. Forces (non Air Force) on Incirlik Air Base but may be used by everyone on Incirlik AB to increase awareness of current heat conditions.

Where can I find the current flag condition?

Currently, the 39th ABW Command Post utilizes the ATHOC base notification system instead of email to alert personnel when Black flag is reached or no longer present. When wearing body armor (IPE), add 5 degrees to WBGT measurement for the correct flag condition. When wearing MOPP gear, chemical protection clothing (tyvek suits), or fire-fighting gear add 10 degrees. Add 15 degrees to WBGT measurement when wearing IPE and MOPP gear.

What are the symptoms of heat stress/illness?

Some of the signs and symptoms of heat stress are muscle cramps, headache, dizziness, shortness of breath, paleness, excessive sweating, confusion, and extreme weakness.

What should I do if I am experiencing symptoms of heat stress or notice someone else is showing signs/symptoms of heat stress?

If you, or someone around you is experiencing these symptoms, move affected individual to cool shaded area, loosen restrictive clothing, have them sip water slowly, and seek medical attention if symptoms persist or worsen.

Where can I find more information on thermal stress?
Your commander is responsible for ensuring initial and annual training is provided to all assigned personnel in the recognition of symptoms and prevention of heat illnesses in accordance with AFPAM 48-151. Commanders and supervisors should review AFPAM 48-151.


Table 1


Flag and hat Index


For more information or for guidance on training requirements, contact the Bioenvironmental Engineering Flight at 676-6305